How I Used the Xbox Kinect to Lose Weight
My Motivation to Lose Weight
My Kinect weight loss success story began in March 2010, when I admitted I was fat! I weighed 250 pounds, and I'm only five foot nine inches tall. I gained 40 pounds of that during my pregnancy, which was riddled with health problems including gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure). But I was pre-obese prior to becoming pregnant.
The diabetes resolved itself after my daughter was born, but the high blood pressure did not. I should have known then my weight was the cause of all my health problems. I was being treated for high blood pressure at the age of 28. I knew something had to change.
Depression and Denial
My husband says I was never fat, but he has to say that right? He unwittingly enabled my denial. I had been out of work for over a year, and I was already very depressed. I had just lost my dog of 10 years and how did I make myself feel better? Like most people, I indulged in food and packed on the weight.
When I went back to work in 2009, I started feeling even more disgusted with myself. I was so fat! Not only was I disgusted by my reflection in the mirror, I was disgusted by the thought of my reflection.
My Xbox 360 Kinect
Weight Loss With Xbox Kinect
Microsoft launched their Kinect for the Xbox 360 in November 2010. It was awesome. The Kinect is a device that tracks the movement made by the player without a controller. Essentially, YOU are the controller (in fact, that's the slogan for the Kinect).
There was just one problem: it showed me just how out of shape I was. It was horrible. I couldn't play for more than 15 minutes without getting really winded and having to sit down. I knew the excess weight was killing me. I had to lose it, and a gym wasn’t an option since we couldn’t afford it. There had to be another option.
Shortly after the Kinect was launched, Ubisoft announced their new fitness game Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. This opened a whole new world for me. I didn't need a gym membership, and I could work out in the comfort of my own home, which meant I'd actually work out!
When the game finally arrived, I had to try it immediately! I started “playing,” and I was hooked. The Kinect tracked all of my movements perfectly and like most video games, it was extremely addictive. I started working out every day. I even started a blog about my experience!
Video of UFC Trainer "Hit the Mits" Session
Can You Lose Weight With Xbox Kinect?
The fact that I could work out before I left to go to work in the mornings made it so easy.
I started getting up at 04:00 am to work out before anyone else got up. I'd work out for about two to 2.5 hours. Then I'd hop in the shower, eat breakfast, grab a few protein bars and jump in the car with my Starbucks coffee and go to work.
It was a perfect routine, and two months later, I had lost 40 pounds.
Every day, I felt stronger, healthier, and I was beginning to lose weight. My blood pressure was better, but it was still borderline despite the medication I took.
Six months after starting my exercise routine with the Kinect, I had lost 70lbs. I was still exercising daily, still getting up at 4:00 am to get my workout in before work. I had increased my routine to about two and a half to three-hour workouts, adding free weight training as well as cardio work.
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved allowed me to do everything except floor work, like sit-ups etc. But, I had some serious upper body strength now. My stomach was also flattening out. I was starting to feel sexy again! I had not only lost 70lbs of fat, I gained substantial lean muscle mass, which is extremely hard to do.
When I went back to my doctor, he was ecstatic. My blood pressure had gone from 136/94 to 104/72. A few more pounds and I could be off my medication.
Ok, so I didn’t lose the weight playing Modern Warfare 3, but I was playing a video game. That video game inspired me to change my life. I’m not just trying to lose weight now; I’m trying to live a healthy lifestyle. The game just makes it easy and fun to get in my exercise.
Got an Xbox 360?
Have you tried the Kinect?
I'm still using the Kinect and recently got the new Your Shape: FItness Evolved 2012 game, but I wasn’t thrilled with it. Although the addition of floor work such as sit-ups and planks is impressive, the rest of the game falls a bit short.
I decided to try something new, and I bought UFC Personal Trainer. The MMA (mixed martial arts) style of fighting not only helped me get out all my frustration that had festered from the previous year; it was fun!
I’ve gone back to using the original Your Shape: Fitness Evolved because I really enjoy some of the weight training routines. They are really tough, and the routines on the new version of the game are actually too easy for me at this point.
I also started using a Fitbit Force. Since my workouts are step-based, I get a more accurate reading of how many calories I burned while playing Your Shape: Fitness Evolved.
This is really helpful when I play Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 because it's estimated calorie burn is about half of the estimate of the original game, which makes it difficult to determine which game is accurate.
For example, when I play the platinum cardio boxing class on the original Your Shape game, I burn about 160 calories. But when I play the same class on the new Your Shape, I only burn about 60. That's a huge difference. According to my Fitbit, I burn anywhere from 90 to 100 calories playing the platinum class.
Because of this, my Fitbit has allowed me to more accurately adjust my daily calorie allotment and keep a closer eye on how many calories I actually burn on any given day. This makes it even easier to adjust my workout if I decide to splurge on dessert!
Since the Xbox One was released, I've been using the app Xbox Fitness, with the Xbox One Kinect to do my workouts. However, in June of 2017, Xbox discontinued the Fitness app.
Because of this, I have gone back to using the Xbox 360 and Your Shape Fitness Evolved for weight training, but I'm currently using Mossa's streaming service for my cardio workouts.
In January 2017, I also drastically changed my diet. Because of all of these changes, I decided to rename Kinect Weight Loss to Defiant Diet. The new blog will discuss all aspects of fitness including diet and exercise, as well as the use of technology to help you reach your fitness goals. You can follow my ongoing fitness journey on Instagram by following DefiantDiet.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Melissa Flagg COA OSC